It’s been two years since James S.A. Corey (the pen name for authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) released the penultimate installment of their Expanse series, and ever since, fans have been wondering when the final book will hit stores.
Back in September, the two officially announced the cover and title of that final book: Leviathan Falls, hitting stores sometime in 2021. We still don’t have a release date, but Corey says that the book has been completed and is now in the hands of their publisher, Orbit Books.
Here is the tweet revealing the manuscript’s whereabouts:
Book 9 is the last Expanse book. That book has been delivered to the publisher.
Now a lot of mysterious things happen and then at some point things can be ordered and then at some other point books arrive. https://t.co/OJEwPAy2IM
— James S.A. Corey (@JamesSACorey) May 17, 2021
The Expanse kicked off back in 2011 with Leviathan Wakes, a space opera mystery that follows the crew of a spaceship after a brutal attack, and a cynical detective on Ceres who’s trying to track down a missing girl. When they come together, they discover a greater plot that changes the direction of humanity forever, and kicks off a vicious war in the Solar System.
Over the course of the first six books, humanity had to deal with its own internal issues while contending with the revelation of not only alien life, but their newfound access to the cosmos by way of an alien ring gate. In the final three books, Corey jumps forward several decades to deal with an ambitious, fascist breakaway sect that decides to try and remake humanity into an interstellar civilization. In doing so, the sect runs head-on into whatever ancient civilization brought about the downfall of the ring gate network creators.
Later this year, we’ll find out exactly how that conflict plays out. With the book now complete and handed off to the publisher, it’s another step closer to hitting bookstores.
But while Leviathan Falls is the final installment of the series, it won’t be the last Expanse volume. Alongside the main novels, Corey has been steadily publishing a number of shorter stories that complement the main storyline, all of which will be published in a standalone collection. According to Orbit’s product page, the book will be titled Memory’s Legion, slated to be published a year from now on May 15th, 2022. (Though that release date could obviously change.) In their livestream for the Leviathan Falls news, the authors announced that Legion will contain a final novella that serves as a “nice grace note” for the series—Abraham said he has been wanting to write it for years.